Policy of Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat
(Redirected from Forum Policy)
Whonix ™ Platform Goals
Developers believe that everyone has the right to private and secure browsing, communications, and hosting of services on the Internet. The Whonix ™ platform has been expressly created to achieve these intended goals. As outlined on the Main Page, the primary user groups are:
- People who value privacy as a fundamental right.
- Average computer users in repressed or censored environments.
- Investigators and whistle-blowers.
- Researchers, government officials and business-people.
- Political activists.
If there is any doubt, Whonix ™ was never designed to hide users who engage in criminal/unlawful acts.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Goals
Reminder: The primary forum aims include: education, fostering innovation and cooperation, resolution of Whonix ™ problems, further improvement of Whonix ™ security and privacy for all users, and assistance to individuals so they can safely achieve their (legal) goals.
Before engaging in the forums or requesting assistance, first thoroughly search the Whonix ™ documentation. Many common questions have already been addressed in relevant chapters. See also Support, Free Support Principle, Bug Reports and Software Development and Support Request Policy.
If suitable information cannot be located, please refer to the following rules before posting. Users who violate these rules may have their accounts suspended or deleted without notice.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Non-Purposes
- A free speech platform.
- Immortalization: the posting of comment(s) does not grant the author a permanent publishing right.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Usage Rules
- Using a pseudonym that is not used elsewhere is recommended.
- Person of public interest user account names which draw controversial attention to Whonix ™ project due to their off-site activities are prohibited at the discretion of the moderators. 
- Users participating in forums, issue tracker or chat must use either a pseudonym and/or their real name. Empty user names such as
are not permitted. 
- Offensive, contentious or disruptive user avatars are prohibited at the discretion of the moderators. 
Do not post topics or information which:
- Reveal the end purpose of utilizing the software such as for example political goals. 
- Violate trademarks or copyright.
- Contain pornographic or violent media or images.
- Are intended to further unlawful/illegal activities.
- Abuse other users, for example:
- Personal attacks that have nothing to do with technological or development discussions.
- Reveal private information of other users.
- Impersonate other users.
- Encourage self-harm or suicide.
- Promote or invite spam. This includes:
- Selling Whonix ™ usernames or other account information.
- Repeatedly post information unrelated to Whonix ™ and associated activities.
- Duplicating content across sub-forums.
- Purposefully post false or misleading content/links.
- Promote third-party software or services purely for personal benefit.
Users who create multiple accounts to sidestep these rules will also be banned.
This list is inexhaustive. The moderators reserve the right to remove material and ban user accounts which engage in inappropriate or illegal behavior which fall outside of these guidelines.
A ban in Whonix ™ chat for minor violations such as unwanted topics does not necessarily extend to a ban in Whonix ™ forums. Major violations equal ban everywhere.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Unwanted Topics
The following subjects are currently banned: 
- Anonymous pentesting
- Reason: legal, liability
- Forum discussion: Allow discussion anonymous pentesting in Whonix ™ forums? [archive]
The following topics shall not be discussed:
- Questions that can be resolved as per Free Support Principle. This especially includes:
- Certain topics related to non-freedom software, see Whonix ™ Policy On Non-Freedom Software.
Whonix ™ Chat Purposes and Non-Purposes
The Whonix ™ telegram / matrix chat is suitable for the following topics:
- Simple questions / support requests.
- English language only.
As a rule of thumb:
- If it's an easy support question, it's suitable for Whonix ™ chat.
- If you want Whonix ™ software or Whonix ™ website to change, it's unsuitable for Whonix ™ chat and needs to be discussed in Whonix ™ forums as that requires time for careful review, focus, tracking ticket and cannot be decided or accomplished in a real-time discussion.
- For more considerate support, use Whonix ™ forums.
- Bug Reports
- These cannot be analyzed and fixed instantly.
- Otherwise bug reports are likely getting lost.
- Feature Requests
- It takes time to seriously consider feature requests. Opinions aren't formed instantly.
- Feature requests posted in the chat will likely soon be forgotten.
- Licensing discussions.
- Organizational discussions.
- Policy discussions.
- Moderation and Conflict Resolution.
Unwanted topics which must be moved elsewhere:
- Debates about features and security of closed vs Open Source Software are unwelcome.
- Small talk.
- Fundamental debates on security, anonymity, privacy, philosophy, politics.
- Avoiding endless, circular, non-productive debates.
- Personal issues.
- There will be no "interrogation" of individual users in the chat.
- Why does user X use software Y? Please re-phrase in a way that doesn't refer to individual users in the chat such as: what are the merits of software Y vs Z?
- Only the technology should be discussed. Not people.
- Do not comment on spam.
- As this adds to the disruption already caused by spam. Admins will delete spam messages. Focus on the actual topic, Whonix ™. Ignore spam.
- No vulgar language.
The personal opinions of moderators or contributors to the Whonix ™ project do not represent the project as a whole.
Chat Private Messages
Unwanted Private Messages
In case of unwanted private messages from one user to another user in the same chat:
- Use the block user feature of the messenger.
- Don't give energy to trolls. Don't waste time with trolls. Ignore trolls.
- Don't mention it in public chat.
- Don't post screenshots of it.
- If that is not good enough:
- Consider only allowing people from your contacts list to send private message or disabling the private messaging feature of the messenger if that is technically possible.
- Consider using a different, separate account, chat client only for that chat (or other public chats generally). And then disable the private messaging feature there or ignore private messages.
- Leave the chat. Don't use the chat. Use Whonix ™ forums instead, where private messages between users are disabled and where there is much less trolling. 
- In most cases, admins will cannot investigate and will not take sides or ban the accused.
- Admins cannot investigate because screenshots are prone to manipulation. Trolls could easily fabricate them to falsely accuse users who did not send inappropriate private messages. This doesn't even require photo editing software skills. The accused would probably deny it, tell a different story, might provide fabricated screenshots as counter evidence.
- A ban of the user from the group does not help much. It doesn't prevent the offending user from continuing to harass the user or other users. This is because the member list of the chat room is public and was already exposed.
- Discouraging trolling.
- Such investigations are a bad use of time for admins.
Private Messages to Admins
Do not private message admins in chat channels without prior permission. See also: Contact.
Moderation and Conflict Resolution
Complaints on moderation in specific cases such as unjust bans, unban requests are only acceptable by e-mail, not in chat channel, not by private message.
- Forum Best Practices
- Wiki Comments Policy
- Limitations on Free Speech on Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat
- Free Support Principle
- Support Request Policy
- Bug Reports and Software Development
- This is to prevent contentious off-topic debates.
- The only place where this is currently an issue is the Whonix ™ Telegram Chat. Not using a user name on telegram does not help much to protect one's identity since users have been assigned unique, public visible user id by telegram anyhow - it's just not conveniently accessible.
- Without a user name it is inconvenient to refer to a user or to check their chat history for moderation purposes.
- It also does not help much to protect one's identity by not using a user name since contents of public communications are far more risky due to issues described on the Surfing Posting Blogging page, especially Stylometry.
- Consider using a randomly generated user name or random hash instead.
- Many years ago the previous forum software used by the Whonix ™ allowed anonymous posting without any account. This was unsustainable because it is counter to community building and due to trolling.
- More subjects are likely to be listed in the future.
- https://forums.whonix.org/t/private-messaging-for-members-with-common-threads-posts/5251 [archive]
This is a wiki. Want to improve this page? Help is welcome and volunteer contributions are happily considered! Read, understand and agree to Conditions for Contributions to Whonix ™, then Edit! Edits are held for moderation. Policy of Whonix Website and Whonix Chat and Policy On Nonfreedom Software applies.
Copyright (C) 2012 - 2020 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP. Whonix ™ is a trademark. Whonix ™ is a licensee [archive] of the Open Invention Network [archive]. Unless otherwise noted, the content of this page is copyrighted and licensed under the same Freedom Software license as Whonix ™ itself. (Why?)